Minor in Possession
Minor in Possession (MIP) Lawyer in Denver
Underage Drinking Laws in Colorado - § 18-13-122 C.R.S.
According to Colorado's underage drinking law (18-13-122 C.R.S.), any individual under the age of 21 who consumes, possesses, or is in "the immediate presence" of alcohol can be tried for a criminal offense known as minor in possession. Additionally, possession of marijuana or marijuana paraphernalia by someone under the age of 21 would also constitute a violation of Colorado's minor in possession law.
Those convicted of a minor in possession (MIP) infraction could have their driver's license suspended. For a first offense, minors could lose their driver's license for up to three months, though this is generally only if they do not attend a court-ordered assessment program or complete court-ordered useful public service hours.
What is the Fine for a First-Time MIP Offense?
The total cost of a minor in possession charge can vary in Colorado. For example, the fines for a first offense can equal $100 at court, but that doesn't include the price of alcohol treatment programs or lawyer's fees. Additional charges that generally accompany MIP violations, such as littering, possession/consumption of alcohol in public, and urinating in public, each of which represents a $100 fine, can add to the total cost of the case.
Penalties for Second & Third MIP Offenses
Second and third MIP offenses are greeted with harsher penalties. A second offense could result in a six-month license suspension, and a third offense could result in a 12-month suspension. Furthermore, while such restrictions are in place, no driving privileges can be granted to the individual, no matter the circumstances. When paired with a more serious underage DUI or DWAI offense, however, MIP charges can compound to be far more punitive.
What an MIP Conviction Could Mean for Your Child's Future
In most cases, a first MIP offense and its effect on a minor's future will be at the mercy of the city attorney and the courts. The arresting officer may let the minor go home with only a ticket, allowing them to avoid a night in jail. However, multiple MIP charges could have more serious consequences on a young person's future.
Courts and officers generally take repeat MIP violations more seriously, and as such, the penalties for these minors tend to be more strictly enforced.
If the minor is currently attending a college or university, they can expect additional disciplinary action to be taken by the institution. If cited by campus police or local officers, it is likely that the offense will be reported to the school. In many of these cases, students will be disciplined for violating the student code of conduct, which could come in the form of academic probation with the potential to be suspended or expelled for future violations.
Criminal charges can not only make seeking employment more difficult for the minor in the future, but they can also cause a great deal of stress for families. When a child is unable to drive themselves to work or school, this burden may be placed on family members, many of whom need to help the individual with everyday tasks.
Hire an MIP Attorney to Represent Your Son or Daughter
Regardless of the severity of the offense, it is always best for minors and their parents to seek the help of a Denver MIP lawyer who can advise them on how to proceed. This may be especially important for the out-of-state minors who attend educational facilities that require travel, and who are potentially separated from their guardians.
At Orr Law Firm, we are Colorado's premier DUI and criminal traffic defense firm. As such, we have a proven track record of helping underage individuals charged with MIP. If you or your child has been arrested, call now.
To schedule a FREE consultation with our Colorado underage drinking attorneys for your child's MIP case, contact the Orr Law Firm today at (303) 747-4247.